Order of the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar

Order of the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar
Order of the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar
Ribbon of the order
Awarded by Sultan of Zanzibar
Type House Order
Status Abolished by republican government in 1964
Established 22 December 1875

The Order of the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar was a decoration awarded by the Sultan of Zanzibar. It was in use from its inception on 22 December 1875 to the overthrow of the Sultanate on 12 January 1964. The decoration had two grades, the first of which was usually awarded to foreign heads of state and the second which was further subdivided into five hierarchical classes. The second grade was the most awarded and was used to reward those who had provided assistance to the Sultan.



The Brilliant Star was instituted on 22 December 1875 by Sultan Barghash bin Said. It consisted of two grades, the first almost exclusively awarded to sovereigns and heads of state and the second subdivided into five classes. These categories were (in decreasing order of precedence): Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer and Member. The order became obsolete with the Zanzibar Revolution of 12 January 1964 which saw Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah overthrown and the end of the Sultanate in Zanzibar.


Both classes awarded neck medals in medallion form to be worn around the neck on formal occasions and breast badges, smaller awards which could be worn on the left breast like conventional medals. The neck medal was made of silver gilt, enamel and gold with a five pointed star surrounded by a wreath. The centre of the medal featured a portrait of the awarding Sultan for the first grade medals and the Sultan's monogram in gold on a red background for the second grade. The breast order was an eight pointed star in silver, again featuring the Sultan's portrait for the first grade and a monogram for the second. The ribbon for all medals was red with white edges.



  • Patience, Kevin (1994), Zanzibar and the Shortest War in History, Bahrain: Kevin Patience .

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